Thursday, December 1, 2016

BLOG TOUR: Private by Xavier Neal

Mogul or Monster?

Billionaire Weston Wilcox hasn't been seen by the outside world in almost a decade. No face to face meetings. No interviews. No social media accounts. Despite his ghost demeanor he continues to financially flourish and make his fellow investors richer with every decision. Throughout the years many have sought to discover the man inside the mogul while others have spread legends painting him as a heartless monster consumed by greed. None of it matters to him. Weston's true identity is secured away in his estate of solitude, which consists of the only people in the entire world he believes he can trust. That is until he's asked to allow a guest access to the property under extreme circumstances. One he knows he shouldn't. It doesn't take long before his world is turned upside down, unexpected threats arise, and Weston's forced to ask himself what really should be kept private?

~Book Review~
4 Stars

When her mother falls ill, Brynley Winters is brought to the estate where she works and where she’s being treated. Brynley is immediately intrigued with her phantom host who hides in the shadows but sees all. Wes Wilcox has concealed his face from the public for a decade, languishing over events from ten years ago while still maintaining the legacy of his family’s whiskey company.

Told via Bryn and Wes’s alternating first person POV, both characters are immensely intriguing.  Wes exudes an air of mystery, a hint of ruthlessness, but also a wealth of kindness to those in his inner circle. He’s a breath of fresh air to readers inundated with drop dead gorgeous hunks—okay so reading about them might not be a hardship, but it’s nice to find a hero every once in a while that breaks the mold. Especially because like Bryn, the reader falls in love with Wes for who he is, not how he looks.  While the story might play on a few Beauty and the Beast themes, Bryn is not your ordinary weak and helpless heroine.  She’s independent, funny, sassy, and smart mouthed.
“She dances to the beat of her own pop song and believes in going after what she wants, when she wants, how she wants.”
As a result, Bryn has some great banter not only with Wes, but just about everyone she interacts with. She keeps the story engaging while putting forth a depiction of women that we don’t see nearly often enough in the romance market. She’s not a heroine who needs saving, and I appreciated the way Bryn acts as a muse while at the same time, learning and growing herself through the relationship.

Wes and Bryn have good chemistry, and I could certainly feel their passion simmering.
“His determination defeats mine and I become a slave to every stroke his tongue delivers. Inevitability I melt into his firm grasp.”
I craved more of these types of scenes. The premise of this romantic suspense is intriguing and the story has great bones, but there are places that could have stood to be fleshed out and scenes that felt jumped over, alongside instances of ‘tell’ rather than ‘show.’ I mean the man has denied himself certain things for a decade, show us how they all played out! ;-) It was instances where the time line skipped ahead a few days and what transpired was summed up that left me feeling disconnected from, or like I missed out on, some of the budding romance and progression of their relationship. Rather than advancing to a part two for Wes and Bryn, I sincerely wish more time would have been spent polishing this story which has a ton of potential.

Though not a cliffhanger per say, there’s apparently to be more to the story in the next book, Public.  I’ll freely admit I prefer this type of information to be clearer. Though I think you can still read this as a standalone, curiosity will likely get the better of you as it has for me over where this pair who complements each other so well is headed.  I can only hope the next journey for them is necessary, includes more adventure and mystery solving rather than angst, and is safe just like this one.  

Xavier Neal is an up and coming Author and Blogger. She lives in Texas where she spends her time getting lost in writing and reading. She loves Tex-mex, fandoms, and laughing. Feel free to spend her a message any time!

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